Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Backs Out of Rangers' 1st Pitch over MLB Moving ASG

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2021

Texas Gov Greg Abbott speaks during a news conferenced about migrant children detentions Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP Photo/LM Otero

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he will not throw out the first pitch in the Texas Rangers' home opener Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays:

Greg Abbott @GregAbbott_TX

I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers' home opening game until @MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia's election law reforms. <br><br>It is shameful that America's pastime is being influenced by partisan politics. pic.twitter.com/pNJApYBHpw

His decision comes in response to Major League Baseball deciding to move its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta following Georgia's new voting rights law.

The Election Integrity Act of 2021 created sweeping changes to the voting process in Georgia, but civil rights groups have argued the new law creates restrictions on voting access, especially for people of color.

Abbott said MLB adopted a "false narrative" about the new law.

The governor's statement also noted the state "will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events."

This could be noteworthy as MLB seeks a replacement destination for the 2021 All-Star Game as well as locations for the event in 2023-25. Globe Life Field would likely have been a candidate as a new stadium; it opened in 2020.

The Rangers' home served as the neutral-field location for the 2020 World Series to help MLB complete the postseason in a bubble format.

The Arlington venue could have also been a candidate to host the World Baseball Classic thanks in part to its warm-weather location during the offseason event, which includes MLB involvement. The 2021 edition was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.